By Robyn Downham

The Dharug and Lower Hawkesbury Historical Society would like to extend the invitation to the general public to attend an exciting day exploring Dangar Island, the only residential island on the Hawkesbury River and learn about the history of this fascinating place.

Dangar Island is a charming, traffic free, natural hideaway on the Hawkesbury River (with a friendly population of almost 300 people), rich in European and Indigenous history. Before white settlement, Dangar Island was known as a gathering place for Guringal Aborigines the custodians of this area for 30,000 years. Evidence of their habitation still remains in engravings and rock shelters on the island.

Governor Phillip was the first European to visit the area in March 1788 and named it Mullet Island because of the quantity of mullet he caught there. In 1864, the island was purchased and renamed by Henry Cary Dangar, a prominent politican who later became a member of the Upper House of New South Wales. Henry Cary Dangar leased the island to the New York based Union Bridge Company during the construction of the Hawkesbury River Rail Bridge between 1886 & 1889.

A community of around 400 Americans lived on the island which then boasted a social hall, library and school. During the Second World War, Army and Navy personnel used Dangar Island as a base to protect the railway bridge from potential Japanese attack.

DATE: Saturday, 23rd February 2019 TIME: 9.30am.

LOCATION: To meet at the public wharf at Brooklyn to catch the 10.00am Ferry to Dangar Island.

COST: Standard cost will be $5.60 or $3.90 concession for the Ferry each way paid on board plus $5.00 to the Society for maps etc.

LUNCH: We suggest lunch at the Dangar Island Bowling Club (will be at own expense) as a fitting way to finish the walk.

Bookings and contact details in case of rain to 0405 321 478 (leave a message) by Wednesday, 20th February 2019.

We will stroll around the island which is a fairly easy 3 kms walk (although there is some sand) following the signs to the major sites including the remaining parts of the Dangar home, site of the Tanks (the fresh water source and for fire fighting), Aboriginal middens, plaque commemorating Governor Phillip’s landing, the General Store/Cafe, the Community Hall and park etc. After lunch we will catch the Ferry back to Brooklyn and time permitting have a wander around that fascinating area. Bring along snacks, water, sunhat, sunscreen & repellent.

Sturdy shoes are suggested.

For futher information please contact us on enquiries@dlhhs.org.au or 0405 321 478.

All welcome.